Kim Jong-un wraps up China visit; hails 'unity' with Beijing
Kim Jong-un wrapped up today his third visit to China this year, declaring North Korea's unstinting "friendship" with Beijing a show of loyalty to his main ally following a landmark summit with US President Donald Trump. The two-day visit was designed to reassure Beijing that Pyongyang will not neglect its interests as Trump and the young autocrat move into uncharted diplomatic terrain. Here's more.
Beijing concerned of Pyongyang, Washington getting closer
Analysts say Kim is seeking to play US and Chinese interests off each other while maintaining good relations with Beijing. China and the US both hope to see the Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons, but Beijing is concerned Washington and Pyongyang might move closer at its expense, a possibility that China sees as threatening to its economic and security interests in the region.
Repairing strained ties
The Cold War-era allies, China and North Korea, which fought side-by-side against US-led UN forces and South Korea in the 1950-1953 Korean War, have sought to repair ties strained by Pyongyang's nuclear tests and Beijing's support of subsequent UN sanctions.
Kim thanks China for help and support for Singapore summit
Kim thanked China for "positive and sincere support and good help for the successful" summit with Trump, according to North Korea's official KCNA news agency. The North Korean leader, who was greeted by a military honor guard and cheering children at the Great Hall of the People Tuesday, said he valued the "recently strengthened strategic cooperation" between the two countries.
Beijing would continue playing a 'constructive role' in nuclear-diplomacy: Xi
Xi told Kim that China "speaks highly" of his summit with Trump and he urged Washington and Pyongyang to implement their agreement struck in Singapore. Xi vowed that Beijing would continue to play a "constructive role" in the nuclear diplomacy. The official media of both countries didn't say whether Kim and Xi discussed the prospect of easing UN sanctions that crippled North Korea's economy.
N-Korea important as Beijing faces trade war with US: Analyst
Shin Beom-Chul, a senior fellow at Seoul-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies, said Kim and Xi likely seek "common-ground" following the Singapore summit. Shin said N-Korea can serve as "an important-card" for China as Beijing faces a potential trade war with America. N-Korean officials also visited China recently to learn about its economic reforms, another sign of Pyongyang's reliance on Beijing for economic well-being.